Straight Talk about Deep Pain and Fear

Well, apparently I have come to the place where politics and children's books and all sorts of books meet, and it is in the wake of this election. And I might was well start with A Wrinkle in Time, because it's the book that makes the most sense right now.

I give you:

With the last vestige of consciousness she jerked her mind and body. Hate was nothing that IT didn’t have. IT knew all about hate….
“Mrs Whatsit hates you,” Charles Wallace said.
And that was where IT made ITs fatal mistake, for as Meg said, automatically, “Mrs Whatsit loves me; that’s what she told me, that she loves me,” suddenly she knew.
She knew!
Love.
That was what she had that IT did not have.
She had Mrs Whatsit’s love, and her father’s, and her mother’s, and the real Charles Wallace’s love, and the twins’, and Aunt Beast’s.
And she had her love for them.

See, here's the thing. There are going to be a lot of ways to get out of this dark place—there have to be.

There is action, and for that I give you my local city councilman, Brad Lander and his exhortation to us all.

There is also, there has to be, reading, because that is how I make sense of the world, and heal from the world, and maybe (please forgive me if I'm going to mush here) try to heal the world as well. Here are books that make sense to me in this time of fear and sorrow, books that talk about what matters in the deepest possible sense, and show us a way out.

Read Aloud Picture Books for the Tiny
Horton Hears a Hoo
The Snowy Day
Amos and Boris

Early Readers
Frog and Toad—any of them
Henry and Mudge—any of them
Sid and Sam

Kids Read on Their Own
Life of John Muir
The Diamond in the Window
A Wrinkle in Time

To Read Aloud to Your Kids and Try Not to Cry
Harry Potter
A Wrinkle in Time (yes, here too)
The Chronicles of Narnia

Read for Yourself
Ideas of Heaven by Joan Silber
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

So, I've tried to think of love and thought and fire and consolation, and I know I haven't even half hit it. So: help me. Can you put your ideas in the comments (or somewhere)? Books to get us and our kids through this, books to remind us of who we are (beyond just what we see), books to remind us of what's possible, books like Meg Wallace would have read.

5 thoughts on “Straight Talk about Deep Pain and Fear

  1. Loves not enough. But I am grateful to have the love. Those I know that are going need help may be loved but they need the money, resources, healthcare or their lives gonna take a deep plunge even with the love. Those who voted for Trump have love too you know. Ivanka trumps kids the most loved, beautiful, secure,adorable,privileged little ones I’ve ever seen. And so happy! I know some much loved children whose parents are facing deportation too. Love is there but they are very sick, drawn and in pain despite love

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  2. I hear you that love is not enough. And I’m not suggesting that those who voted for Trump don’t have love. Just that the politics he espoused during the campaign seemed focused on hate and fear primarily, that’s all. Not making (in this piece anyway) judgments on the people, on policies and rhetoric only.

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  3. I love your reading suggestions- so many are long time favorites. Love maybe not enough- but sometimes that’s all we have to hold on to.

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